‘I had to have that guitar!’

I have always had a deep love for string instruments, and acoustic guitars especially. From a very early age-I remember sitting on the floor in front of my Grandpa Fred, listening to him play for as long as I was allowed. Then when scuttled off to bed, I would sit at the edge of the hall and listen in until caught and sent back to my room. Grandpa Fred made his guitar sing and I have always carried those wonderful memories with me.
Because of my Grandfather, I became very attracted to string instruments. I can play myself, but my real joy is in hearing someone else bring out the beautiful sound of the instruments. As an adult, I have had quite an extensive collection of string instruments, mostly guitars! They are all gone now, taken and sold years ago by a family member.
Two wonderful things have happened to me in 2015: One, I met a classical guitar player (Tim) who is an amateur luthier, and who has reignited in me, the spark lost when my collection was stolen. He has been teaching me to play again and has been helping me to select a personal guitar.

The other wonderful thing happened one day when I was going through the local classifieds here and spotted and ad for a “vintage acoustic guitar” $60.00 . The advertisement had no other details, but did have beautiful pictures. I asked the seller if it was still available, but soon forgot about it. The seller however, was very persistent and sent me several emails and texts over the next week until I gave in and My luthier friend Tim accompanied me to Inglewood to take a closer look. We both looked over the guitar and could not believe what we were seeing. This was clearly a handmade guitar from Rodriguez Guitar Shop- a LA CA shop that was no longer in business. I looked up the address on the guitar’s label and found the building was vacant. No matter, the instrument was beautiful and responded so sweetly to Tim’s fingers- I had to have it!

We brought it home and immediately cleaned and restrung it. Tim took pictures of the bracing inside. Once the new strings settled in, it sounded so beautiful, the balance between structural requirements and the lightness required to allow the soundboard to utilize all of the energy of the strings is incredible! The basses are deep and the trebles are so sweet- playing both flamenco and classical songs on it that I just had to know who the maker was.
That is when I Googled Rodriguez Guitars and left a message on the site asking about my treasure. Within a day Manuel Rodriguez JR personally responded back asking for pictures. I was so excited! I gathered pictures and sent them right away, hoping for a positive identification. I didn’t have to wait long though, Mr. Rodriguez responded back right away saying that the guitar was indeed made by his family in Spain 50 years ago! What a wonderful find!!

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